Food is helping to forge friendships in Carlisle.

The Big Lunch arrived at St Margaret Mary's Parish Community Centre this week to help bring the community together.

Tackling social isolation is a big part of The Big Lunch which hopes to get the people who live alongside each other to break bread and talk to one another.

Carlisle Community Choir created a focal point, singing some classic numbers while visitors shared stories and ate food.

Tony Brown coordinator of the Mount Pleasant Community Group said: "We have a very simple aim, to get people together to share food tell some stories and get to know each other.

"There are lots of people who are isolated and health reports suggest people who are isolated can become lonely, depressed.

"The health and wellbeing of the nation can suffer as a result of people not being friendly to each other.

"We normally have a little group that meets and we have built it up to about 20 people who gather to chat and chomp on a Monday it's something to look forward to and it's working.

"We have teamed up with the Eden Project and the National Lottery who have helped with the funding and Cumbria County Council for the support."

Paul Smalley form The Eden project said: "We did a report, the cost of disconnected living, it said it was costing the government £32 billion a year because people weren't coming together anymore. But, The Big Lunch aims to bring people together again.

"When people come together it creates connections, it's more about bringing people together who wouldn't normally meet.

"What we have found is when people come together they think wow look what is going on in the community and think I want to do a bit more.

"Today has been awesome, I have seen people who didn't know each other before talking and that's the important bit.